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Bookies suffer a Christmas football betting battering

A set of punter-friendly football results over the Christmas and New Year period will have hurt the bookies at a crucial period in their financial years, according to analysis from Cenkos.

All the leading Premier League teams won on Boxing Day including Arsenal, Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea, the current league leaders. Liverpool subsequently won the following day and Tottenham finished off the bad round of post-Christmas fixtures for the bookies with a 4-1 demolishing of Southampton on December 27.

The New Year’s Eve Premier League fixtures saw Liverpool beat Manchester City, but Chelsea beat Stoke City and Manchester United won against Middlesbrough.

Simon French, analyst at Cenkos, noted the bad run of football results as far as the bookies were concerned was badly timed as they came so close to the end of the year trading period.

“Betting companies were hit by punter-friendly results on Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve and with no time to benefit from recycling year-ends,” he told clients.

He suggested the hit to profits might mean that profits for William Hill, Ladbrokes Coral and Paddy Power Betfair would be at the lower end of expectations.

“We don’t believe the boxing Day results were as bad as two years’ ago, when all but one of the top ten football winning favourites won that day,” French added. “Boxing day 2016 could have been worse but for Newcastle United losing 1-0 at home to Sheffield Wednesday in the Championship.”

We will soon know how results have affected the top listed companies. William Hill announced on Tuesday it will be releasing a trading update next Monday, January 9, while Betfair is slated to release a trading update on January 23.

French went on to suggest the short-term trading travails of the bookies dovetails with other factors that point to the sector having a tough 2017.

He said: “For gaming stocks, we remain concerned that the rising tide of UK regulation around machines and advertising, combined with the introduction of the horseracing levy replacement and the move to gross revenues-based point of consumption tax on online casino, poker and bingo bonuses is not adequately priced into UK-facing stocks.”

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